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Henry, Emma (1881–1968)

Emma Henry (Sister St. Victor) belonged to the Filles de la Providence congregation, one of the teaching orders forced from France by then rising anti-clerical sentiment, and spent most of her sixty-five-year-long religious life in Saskatchewan. Born in Brittany on February 11, 1881, she came to western Canada in 1903. Here she and other women religious who had fled France found refuge, as well as a new source of novices, within the deeply religious French minority of western Canada and the rapidly expanding Catholic immigrant population. Sister St. Victor spent two years in Prince Albert and Regina, learning English and studying at Normal School. She was then assigned to Howell (as Prud’homme was then called), and taught in a small boarding convent. Soon she was sent to St. Louis, where the congregation was building a large convent. In 1919 she went to France for a short rest period, and then moved to the congregation’s training convent in Vegreville, Alberta. In 1929, she was named Mistress of Novices in Prud’homme, a few years after the training convent was transferred there. In 1941 she was appointed Provincial Superior. In 1955, age and illness forced her to take a less demanding position in St. Brieux. Later retiring to the St. Louis convent, she died there on March 1, 1968.

Richard Lapointe

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Further Reading

Lapointe, R. 1988. “Emma Henry (soeur Saint Victor, F.d.l.P.).” Pp. 208–10 in 100 noms: Petit dictionnaire biographique des Franco-Canadiens de la Saskatchewan. Regina: Société historique.
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